Category Archives: Shooting for Fun

Concert Photography

The other night I went and tried my hand at concert photography. I live in a small city, so concerts aren’t something we get a lot of. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do and haven’t had the chance to yet.

The acts on the bill were Ill-Literate (a local hip-hop act) followed by Gemini, Pigeon Hole, and finally the main act, Sweatshop Union.

I’ve enjoyed Sweatshop’s stuff for a few years. I caught one of their songs on MuchMusic a few years ago and really enjoyed the sound, so I listened to a few of their songs. I hadn’t listened to them in a while when I heard the add for the concert here in town.

I decided I’d like to shoot it, so I went to the venue (a local bar) and asked. The owner was cool with it and I took the time to confirm with the performers that they were cool with it as well. I had awesome access (a good thing about a small town and small venue) so I was able to get up on stage left for some of the acts and up in the DJ booth on stage right, as well as down in front of the stage. At one point I was even helped up onto a speaker stack to get a better angle.

I faced a couple of challenges. The first two performances went well. I was shooting at ISO3200 just to get a decent shutter speed at a wide open aperture. So my final settings were ISO3200, f1.8 and about 1/125 s shutter speed. My shutter speed would go up and down depending on how the lights changed.

The second two acts had the front stage lights turned up to 11. I had a very hard time metering – so I had to catch the artists as they were transitioning from middle stage to front stage while they were in the “ok” light. At front they were blasted out, at middle they were too dark. I played the balance though and shot about 300 shots.

In my first edit I picked my favourite 10. They may not be the best 10, but they were my favourite. Here are a couple – you can find the rest on my deviant art account, my facebook page or on my flickr page.

Gemini Tease 1
Gemini – Second Act of the night. This guy was just super fun to photograph.

Ill Literate Tease 2
Ill-Literate. First act of the night. Two local guys throwing down some hip-hop. This is possibly my favourite shot of the whole night.

Ill Literate Tease 4
Ill-Literate again. This is the second part of the duo. This photo converted to black and white and split-toned to get the colour I wanted.

And to finish things off, the music video that originally got me interested in Sweatshop Union. I hope you enjoy.